Lagman: What ‘talk of fairness’ in terror law? It’s abusive, period

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Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman on Sunday said he was not reassured by the implementors of the Anti-Terrorism Law that it would not be used to abuse human rights.

“No amount of assurances from law enforcement agencies that there will be no abuses in the implementation of the ‘Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020’ would mitigate the incidence of abuses because the law itself is abusive and derogatory of human rights, civil liberties and fundamental freedoms,” he said.

Lagman said the repressive provisions in the law “embolden law enforcers to perpetrate errant and arbitrary implementation against spirited ordinary citizens, progressive activists and political dissenters who have long been considered as ‘enemies of the state’.”

“The new anti-terrorism law must be cleansed of its constitutional infirmities notwithstanding the say-so of its implementors,” he said.

Lagman said it was now up to the Supreme Court to remove those provisions.

“It is incumbent upon the Supreme Court to use the scalpel of judicial review to excise the numerous oppressive and unconstitutional provisions of the new law in its adjudication of relevant petitions,” he said.